Date
17 October 2017
A driver using Didi Chuxing is shown in the mirror of his vehicle in Beijing. Uber is stepping up efforts to lock in Southeast Asia and India after its retreat from the mainland. Photo: Reuters
A driver using Didi Chuxing is shown in the mirror of his vehicle in Beijing. Uber is stepping up efforts to lock in Southeast Asia and India after its retreat from the mainland. Photo: Reuters

Uber ramps up fight for Southeast Asia after China retreat

Uber Technologies Inc. is redeploying 150 engineers from China to other key markets such as Southeast Asia after agreeing to sell its business in the world’s most populous nation.

The company’s San Francisco-based employees will develop new features such as mapping as part of a plan to boosts services in key markets such as Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, Bloomberg reports.

Didi Chuxing said yesterday it will buy Uber’s operations in China, putting an end to a year-long war between the world’s two largest ride-sharing companies.

The China deal allows Uber to free up capital to increase resources in other markets and hire more engineers locally in India.

Uber has a global workforce of about 8,000 in engineering, marketing and operations. 

Uber’s shift is a sign it won’t let up in its battle for customers elsewhere in Asia even after reaching a peace deal for China.

The world’s most valuable startup competes with Singapore-based Grab for ride-hailing customers in Southeast Asia, a region that also includes Malaysia and Vietnam, while also tackling Go-Jek in Indonesia and going head-to-head with Ola in India.

Didi is in an alliance with Grab, Ola and Lyft Inc. that unites four rivals to Uber.

It’s not clear what impact the China deal will have on that alliance.

Grab chief executive Anthony Tan sent an internal memo to employees yesterday, reassuring them Didi’s victory showed that local companies are better positioned for dominance of the local market.

“With the deal in China, we expect Uber to turn more attention and divert resources to our region,” according to the memo seen by Bloomberg.

“They’ve lost once, and we will make them lose again.”

Grab operates in 30 cities across six countries.

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